Falling Into Place
Things are looking pretty good in Met-land these days. The Mets closed to within 3.5 games of the wildcard, and despite sitting eight games out of first, they are primed to make a move in the upcoming weeks. They take on the Marlins for three games this weekend, follow that up with a four game series with the Nationals, then a brake of sorts by taking on Pittsburgh, followed by a four game series with Atlanta. The Mets have taken their last three series, and two of them were from division rival Philadelphia. Those horrible trips to Seattle and Oakland will mean nothing if the Mets can step it up when they need too. They can close a serious gap between the leaders in this division and they have Carlos Beltran back at 100% for the run. If the Mets were going to make a move, they need him to be a part of it.
The Mets also have had some early successes with some promotions in Brett Harper knocking a two run, pinch hit homer for Binghamton and Anderson Hernandez owning a line of .367/.387/.567 in his short time at AAA. Dante Brinkely was also promoted and has played two games at St. Lucie and more promotions are on the way. There are a lot of things going on with the Met organization right now and just about all of them are positive. The Mets are sitting in last place right now, but last place gets them 1.5 games out of second place in the NL Central and 3.5 games out of first in the struggling NL West. This is the most important stretch of games for the Mets in the entire 2005 season. It is put up or shut up time for the Mets and they will not be able to spin it that they are legitimate contenders if they fall flat on their faces. With the rotation hitting their stride, with the exception of Kaz Ishii, smart money is on the Mets to make a move in the next two weeks.
The Yankees are looking for some pretty good players to upgrade a listless team and are unwilling to part with their prospects for them. On top of the fact teams know they are desperate and will ask for the moon, they are expensive players they are asking for in terms of talent in return, but they are unwilling to part with their only tradeable commodities in the minor leagues. What are they expecting to give up? Bubba Crosby and Tanyon Sturtze? If the Yankees plan to pick up talent to improve their team, they are going to have to move at least two of their top prospects and they seem to have tabbed all of them as keepers. It could be posturing by them, but I'm not sure if they just want teams to roll over and give them what they need for nothing in return. There is no doubt they want to keep them because their philosophy is changing a bit, and that is why they were shopping Sheffield contrary to what they said yesterday. I just cross my fingers they do give up a bunch of young players in a deal so it can be a dark future in Bronx with nothing on the horizon once again.
Cairo's return could have a direct impact on the immediate future of outfielder Victor Diaz. Mired in a 2-for-24 funk and playing only sparingly since Mike Cameron returned to the lineup, Diaz is likely to find himself back in Triple-A Norfolk once Cairo is healthy.
Diaz at AAA is probably the best thing. The Mets could be forming a pretty solid AAA team with Valent, Diaz, Pagan, Jae Seo, and Anderson Hernandez with the soon to be AAA players Mike Jacobs, Brian Bannister, and Yusmeiro Petit. My guess is after the AA All-Star game, we will see some player movement
- Toledo beat Norfolk 10-7. Angel Pagan went 2 for 5 with run scored, Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 4 with a double and three RBIs, Eric Valent went 1 for 3 with two walks, and Prentice Redman went 1 for 4 with two runs scored, a walk, and a double. Jose Santiago got roughed up in his three innings of work and gave up eight runs.
- Binghamton beat New Britain 6-4. Mike Jacobs went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, two doubles, and two RBIs and Brett Harper hit a pinch hit two run homer. Yusmeiro Petit gave up four runs in 7.2 innings and gave up seven hits, struck out seven, walked two , and gave up a homer. Anderson Garcia took the win in relief with 1.1 scoreless innings.
- Brevard County beat St. Lucie 4-0.
- Hagerstown beat Lakewood 6-2. Carlos Gomez went 2 for 4 with double and an RBI, Mike Carp hit his seventeenth homerun of the year, Grant Psomas went 2 for 4 with a triple and a run scored, Ryan Coultas went 2 for 4 with a run scored, a double, a homerun, and three RBIs.
- Brooklyn beat Aberdeen 2-1. Jonathan Malo went 1 for 3 with a run scored and two walks. He has a .323 average and a robust .447 OBP.
- Kingsport beat Elizabethton 4-2. Sean Henry went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a walk and Juan Montero went 2 for 4 with a homer and two RBIs.
- The GCL Nationals beat the GCL Met 5-2.
- The Eastern League All-Stars were named. Yusmerio Petit, Brian Bannister, Mike Jacobs, and Chase Lambin all made the team.